Businesses supporting businesses, what a novel concept. My new bank, Slovak Savings and Loan right here on the Northside, had a consultant that came in to do some work with them and she called me for a reservation. The best part of the story is Donna called me while I was in my old bank, First Niagara (who never referred anyone) talking with the manager. It takes a change in mindset for people to think like this. And it’s not just one business supporting one of their customer businesses, it’s all of us. Of course this is prejudice on my part, but if we all are aware of small businesses and help send customers our way instead of to the big box stores, this country would be a hole lot better. I was a business major at Penn State many years ago and one fact (maybe the only one ) stuck with me over the years. 93% of the United States Gross National Product (GNP) is generated by small businesses. There was an article recently in the newspaper that said the exact same thing. There is literally millions of us out there. When a friend or coworker asks about an accountant, send them to Bould and Associates instead of HR Block, flower orders to KS Kennedy instead of Telafloral, stereo needs to Butch’s Sound and Audio instead of Best Buy, get your Jamiacan Ginger Root Beer, Red Ribbon Cherry Pop, Pennsylvania Punch from Natrona Bottling and send your out of town friends & business associates to The Parador Inn, you get my drift.
And related to that, is donations to non profits. I donate to most non profits that request a get away (I never donate to ones that solicitate from distant states, etc.) And I get a fair amount of redemption of these certificates. What I don’t get is referral business. Honestly, when I donate to a non profit, it is to help them raise money for their worthwhile causes, particularly in these times. But I have never received a booking from someone saying I saw your donation at xyz fund raiser and thought I’d support you also. Or better yet, I’m on the executive board of xyz non profit and I noticed your donation to our fund raiser. I have some clients coming in for my regular business and would like to lodge them at your establishment. I’ve donated to fund raisers and had guests use the gift certificate, never actually come back, but ask me to donate to another non profit they belong to. Am I being greedy? Maybe I actually get referrals from these donations and the guests never acknowledge where they found out about me (but this has never been listed on my Guest Comment Card that is in each guest room). If you are reading this and patronize a small business because you saw them at a non profit fund raiser, please let the small business know so we feel appreciated.
I was making the cinnamon swirl quick bread for breakfast and I got everything mixed and layered in the baking pans when a guest came to the door. I greeted them, gave them the tour and then checked them in. When I went back to the kitchen, I put the two loaf pans in the oven. When I pulled them out half way through baking, I noticed I neglected to swirl the cinnamon swirl batter. ):. So we had swirlless cinnamon swirl bread for breakfast.
It was supposed to rain and be cloudy all day today. It never really rained (the first day in many) and actually got fairly sunny (the first in many). Makes me very happy. I got the grass cut and the beach raked. All set for the weekend guests.
RJ was funny this evening. Andrew left this morning. He was from Canada, and had been here from Sunday and each morning would stop and greet both boiz and play with RJ before breakfast. If he was around during the day, he’d spend some time playing with RJ. And most evenings when I came down to turn the music off and do the final thing with the lights (RJ follows me down each evening for this ritual), Andrew would be in the Parlor reading. RJ would run over to him and they would play one more time. This evening when I came down to put the Inn to bed for the evening, RJ went running into the Parlor and kept looking around. He couldn’t believe his buddy wasn’t there.
The new Angelica giga hasn’t grown, but is sitting there looking healthy. The bananas are already sprouting new leaves. The hibiscus that gets more sun has tripled in size (the other is growing, but no where as fast). The elephant ears are being sluggish, but with the warmer weather, they should really start shooting up. I need to pull the clematis apart, it has exploded and I need to get it growing where I want it (on the arbor, not under). Everyone else out there in the garden are either growing well or exploding. It’s going to be a great year for the gardens.
Kevin and crew from Crested Duck was in working in my kitchens this afternoon. He will have his first day of sales tomorrow at the Fire House. So they were busy as all get out and when I came home from doing my errands there was no place in the cold kitchen to put my purchases down, so I went in the Pantry and tried getting all five cloth bags of groceries, etc on the counter. As luck would have it, the one bag that didn’t make it had a bottle of port in it, of course it broke. Later, after Kevin left, I decided to move the vase with extra flowers in it, the two bottles of mix for Pina Colodas and Margaritas and a bottle of white wine from the cooler we share to the one in the Pantry. Guess what, Mr. Lazy Man’s Load tried carrying all three bottles and the white wine bottle slipped out of my grasp in the Pantry and broke. Not a good day for me and alcohol.
Brian, from Wall to Wall Productions called me yesterday. They’re right down the street and had one of the people they work with come in to town back in January and they placed him here. They’re bringing another one in for eleven days the end of the month and booked him here (he’s coming all the way from Hawaii). So Brian came by this afternoon for a tour and did all the details for the booking. Also this afternoon, Kristy who’s planning a wedding next September came by for a tour. The Parador may be a perfect fit, her and her cousin seemed to enjoy the tour. That would be the third wedding I have already booked for next year, way over where I was last year at this point.
Well, it’s late and I need to make breakfast early, have a great evening,